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HURIWA seeks justice for 12-year-old victim of sexual assault

By Bertram Nwannekanma (Lagos) and Odita Sunday (Abuja)
25 May 2022   |   2:56 am
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the Federal Capital Territory Police Command to ensure that justice is served

Police. Photo/TWITTER/PoliceNG

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the Federal Capital Territory Police Command to ensure that justice is served in the alleged sexual abuse case involving a 12-year-old girl in Kabusa village, Abuja.

 
HURIWA, in a statement, yesterday by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it visited Kabusa Police Station, on the outskirts of Abuja, to ascertain the progress of the Police investigation on the alleged assault by her neighbour, a 54-year-old father of three, Mr. Ikemba, an Iron Bender. 

According to the group, on reaching the police station, it saw the alleged victim and her poor parents, apparently waiting for the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), to refer the matter to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) within the Federal Capital Territory Command.

The group said it ascertained that the teenage victim was kept at Kabusa Police Station from Saturday, when the matter was reported by neighbours till Monday afternoon, on the excuse that the victim was kept to obtain a medical report because according to the Investigative Police Officer (IPO), the police did not want the evidence of the alleged rape to be tampered with if she was allowed to go home with her the parents

The group appealed to the Federal Government, especially the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to liaise with the police to facilitate quick medical examination of victims of sexual assaults because keeping the victim in a police station and detaining the suspect could create the impression that the alleged victim is being criminalised.

While appealing to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the National Human Rights Commission to monitor the progress of this matter to ensure that justice is done,  it also urged the FCT Police Commissioner to ensure that justice is done to this vulnerable child.

The statement said: “HURIWA hopes that the Police will under no circumstances compromise this matter of serious sexual violations of a 12-year-old girl by a man old enough to be her Grandfather.

“HURIWA noticed that the community members of the alleged offender were in their numbers at the Kabusa police station, apparently seeking a negotiated settlement.  

  
“HURIWA is therefore calling on the Police in the FCT Command to take this matter to its logical conclusion.” 

HURIWA said it is in possession of the findings of the ECWA Community Health Initiative, which runs ECWA Health Clinic in Kabusa and based on what can be read from the record, dated May 22, 2022, the report affirmed that sperm was found in the teenager’s private part.

“This was confirmed verbally by the female police operatives we interacted with, who were not happy that the father of the teenager did not report the first incident, in which the same suspect sexually assaulted her, but the father said the recent case was so brazen because neighbours were the ones that caught the suspect, sexually abusing his daughter.
  
“HURIWA was also told by the police during the cause of our visit that the police has in its possession photographic evidence of alleged penetration by the accused rapist and that it is awaiting a final copy of the medical examination just as HURIWA is in possession of the laboratory analysis confirming the alleged sexual violations.  

“As members of the Human Rights community, we encourage the police to ensure that justice is done even as we make strong case to the Federal Government for the massive funding of police at the rural areas so such cases of sexual violations of children by adults are rapidly attended to.”